“The thriller opens with a naked young man running on foot on the 101, and things get stranger and darker as the novel progresses, with a pair of hardened criminals, a quasi-cult leader, a disgraced USC student and a young man just released from prison all crossing paths.”
Featured in LA Times’ Best Fiction books of 2017.
“Wonder Valley starts and ends on a freeway. Just like everything in Los Angeles, right? Ivy Pochoda’s imaginative characters are just as complicated as this megalopolis, too.”
Featured in NPR’s Book Concierge Great Reads of 2017.
From the acclaimed author of Visitation Street, Ivy Pochoda, comes a remarkable novel that makes the heart race and the fingers unable to stop from turning the pages. It is a book meant to connect with misfits and lost souls and it certainly serves it purpose.
Wonder Valley starts out in the typical crowded morning commute. But that is where normal ends. A strange naked runner is zigzagging between stalled vehicles and draws the attention of the local news. This scene sets up a riveting tale of how six character who are desperate for hope and love connect across the sun-bleached canvas of Los Angeles.
These characters include Ren. He is just out of juvie and has travelled to LA to search out his mother. Then there is Own and James, teenage twins living in a desert commune where their father has a powerful hold on the community with his self-professed powers of healing.
Britt shows up at the commune, keeping a dark and destructive secret while Tony, a bored, ill-content lawyer becomes inspired by the runner. And lastly, Blake is a drifter seeking refuge in the desert, hiding from his violent past.
These strangers’ lives become intertwined and crash together in a story that is filled with violence, heartache and yearning.
Pochoda has filled the pages of this book with suspense, thrill and danger, and readers will become instantly mesmerized.
Praise is coming from far and wide for this masterpiece:
“A dizzying, kaleidoscopic thriller that refuses to let readers look away from the dark side of Southern California. . . . Impossible to put down. . . . It’s the memorable characters and beautiful prose that make the novel so successful. . . . Unexpected and pitch-perfect.” – Los Angeles Times
“Audacious. . . . Each character is realized with vivid empathy. . . . A richly Californian novel, drenched in enough sunlight to illuminate the harshest of truths.” – Entertainment Weekly